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Vestigial Polish link should be left to Trowbridge

(January 18, 2009)
YOU will probably be aware that Warminster has been twinned with the Normandy town of Flers since 1973 but were you aware that we are also twinned (whether we like it or not) with somewhere called Elblag in Poland.
This Polish twinning link comes from us being part of the West Wiltshire district and dates back to 2000.
Now that we are at last ridding ourselves of the district council some people want to continue the link with each of the mayors of the ‘five towns’ of west Wiltshire taking it in turn to represent the area, although Trowbridge would be the ‘lead town council’ in any application for outside funding.
“I’ve always been a bit suspicious of twinning as it has been yet another thing in our town for the ‘haves’ to enjoy while the majority of ordinary Warminster people are not involved or feel excluded because of the patrician nature of these twinning groups,” said Steve Dancey.
“I know plenty of people from, for example, the Probus Club have been involved with twinning over the years but how many members of the Clarkes pensioners’ club get involved?
“That said I would still support the Flers link as it does provide an opportunity for children to experience French culture for a modest expenditure.
“Poland is just too far away.”
The project was instigated in Trowbridge which has for many years a strong link with this part of eastern Europe as refugees from the Second World War were housed at what became a chicken farm at Keevil on the road to Bratton near the aerodrome.
In Trowbridge there was even a Polish club set up as those who stayed and became workers in local factories and found homes there after the war ended.
"I think this is a case of west Wiltshire- let it rest in peace," added Paul Macdonald who went to school in Trowbridge with children of Polish families.
"If the county town quite rightly wants to build on its strong connections then go-ahead.
"But it should do so without pretending the rest of the towns nearby have such a historical connection.
"Let us concentrate on our Flers twinning which I am told relates to the Wiltshire Regiment and its soldiers from this town liberating it during the Second World War."

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